Salads | December 26, 2014

Poblano Cilantro Salad Dressing with Spicy Chicken Salad

That time between Christmas and New Year’s is tough. You have all these goals of kale and protein shakes for every meal, multiple mornings at the gym a week, and of course, no sugar. Bleh. But your people are still on vacation and everybody is still partying and you just have to finish off that fudge, right? What’s a girl (or super-awesomly-handy-in-the-kitchen-guy) to do?

Cilantro Poblano Dressing pin

Make this absolutely delicious salad. Just to start the transition to healthy, new beginnings. I recently bought a similar dressing at Trader Joe’s, fell in love, and decided I had to recreate it at home. Those are usually my first thoughts when I find something I like at the store…this is similar to Trader Joe’s cojita cilantro dressing, but I added poblano peppers. It’s totally mild and packs serious zesty, creamy flavor.

Cilantro Poblano Dressing ingredients in blender

Now this chicken is probably my favorite to make and just the easiest little thing. Rub it full of Mexican spices to give it all sorts of flavor without any fat. Lots of paprika, chili powder, cayenne, garlic, onion, and of course a little salt. It’s a party in your mouth. You can make it as spicy as you like with the cayenne. Cook the chicken in a little coconut oil for some all-natural fat and the smell of the spice and the coconut oil is intoxicating. And the plethora of spices creates a little crust on the chicken that is divine.

Cilantro Poblano Dressing on a spicy chicken salad on a white plate with a silver fork nearby

I also share my secret for juicy {non-dry} perfectly-cooked chicken. Mix the spicy chicken and zesty dressing with some cool cucumber, creamy avocado, crunchy bell pepper, and sweet mango and you’ve just brought yourself out of those post-holiday blues. No but really….

Cilantro Poblano Dressing drizzled on a spicy chicken salad

5 from 1 vote
Poblano Cilantro Dressing
Poblano Cilantro Salad Dressing with Spicy Chicken Salad
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
30 mins

The salad that packs a seriously zesty, creamy flavor.

Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: poblano cilantro dresssing, spicy chicken salad
Calories: 1112 kcal
Author: Stephanie
Poblano Cilantro Dressing
  • 2 poblano peppers washed and stems removed
  • large handful cilantro washed
  • 3 oz. cojita cheese or queso fresco
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1/3 c water
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
Spicy Chicken Salad
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 t chili powder
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t onion powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t cayenne
  • 1 t coconut oil
  • arugula and spinach salad mix
  • mango peeled and chopped
  • red bell pepper washed and chopped
  • cucumber peeled and chopped
  • avocado chopped
  • cojita cheese
  1. Place chicken breasts in ziplock bag and pound until uniform in thickness, about 1/2" thick.
  2. Heat coconut oil in frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Rub spices on each side of chicken breasts. Cook in coconut oil about 3-4 minutes each side. Remove from heat, cover with lid, and let rest about 10 minutes.
  4. Make salad dressing by placing all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Prepare salad by layering arugula and spinach, mango, red bell pepper, cucumber, avocado, sliced (on the diagonal and against the grain) cooked chicken breasts, and top with salad dressing and more cojita cheese.
Recipe Notes

The dressing will firm up when refrigerated due to the cojita. To serve leftovers dressing, mix it with a little lime juice and/or water to thin it back out. Lasts 1 week refrigerated.

Nutrition Facts
Poblano Cilantro Salad Dressing with Spicy Chicken Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 1112 Calories from Fat 495
% Daily Value*
Fat 55g85%
Saturated Fat 22g138%
Cholesterol 364mg121%
Sodium 4186mg182%
Potassium 2195mg63%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 131g262%
Vitamin A 2905IU58%
Vitamin C 196.8mg239%
Calcium 990mg99%
Iron 3.7mg21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


2 thoughts on “Poblano Cilantro Salad Dressing with Spicy Chicken Salad

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  1. This looks great, and frankly it is welcome and flavorful break from all the holiday fare! I hope your holidays have been terrific, and all the best for 2015!

  2. 5 stars
    So delicious! We tried this tonight and it was a welcome break from holiday gluttony! I made the salad for my husband and I and used it as a side for the kids alongside pasta with a crushed tomato sauce. Thanks for sharing!